Vincenzo Vaccaro, an official with the Superintendence for Architectural Heritage of Florence, made the claim Thursday during a presentation after restoration of the polyhedron which will now be on permanent display in the Medici Chapels of the basilica.
For years, Vaccaro has studied the significance of this object, which once sat on top of the dome of San Lorenzo.
It's believed that Michelangelo was at least strongly inspired by a series of geometric designs created by Leonardo.
The decorative object will be displayed as part of an exhibition opening in March, the "Splendour of the Medici: Pope Leo X and Florence".
Michelangelo created the object - described by art historian Giorgio Vasari as the ball with 72 faces - in 1520 for Pope Leo.